New archaeology minor
Immaculata University’s History, Political Science, and International Studies Department is offering a new minor in American and industrial archaeology. According to William Watson, Ph.D., chair of the department and professor of history, the minor will train students in archaeological technique and help them understand the historical context of artifacts and remains.
“Philadelphia was a major center of the American Industrial Revolution, and the area is replete with important surviving sites,” said Watson. Immaculata is in a prime location, Watson said, because of the University’s proximity to Philadelphia’s resources, such as the Penn Museum, as well as to Revolutionary War battlefields and industrial sites.
Watson plans to begin work at other local sites soon, building on the excavation he and his students have done at Duffy’s Cut, the burial ground of 57 Irish railroad workers who died in 1832 as a result of cholera and possibly violence.
Trained archaeologists, as well as historians such as Watson, are giving students a unique opportunity to participate in digs and learn to clean and preserve what they find. Students are also learning the science of imaging sub-surface objects with metal detectors and ground-penetrating radar.
“The individual stories of these unique Philadelphia-area industrial sites are essential to the wider story of America’s emergence as the leading global industrial power,” said Watson.